“There have been talks (with Quikr), but there are other things to get sorted out first,“ said one of the sources, referring to the imminent management overhaul at Housing where Yadav, 26, has resigned as CEO. He cautioned that the deal is yet to reach the final stage of negotiation or financial due diligence. The deal hinges on the outcome of Housing board’s meeting scheduled to be held on Tuesday when investors will seek to remove Yadav as CEO, the source said.
For Quikr, which is one of the eight so-called Indian `unicorns’ with billion-dollar valuations, the addition of Housing will open up a new revenue stream and add a well-known brand to its portfolio.Nearly a dozen investors including Tiger Global, Warburg Pincus, Steadview Capital and Norwest Venture Partners have pumped around $360 million in six funding rounds so far. This includes $150 million it raised in April this year, valuing the startup at over $1 billion. Earlier this year, Quikr founder Pranay Chulet said the company will hire 500 people to beef up its online real estate business, QuikrHomes.com For the investors in Housing, the deal will give them a chance to be a part of a larger business and cut their losses in a company whose fortunes have dwindled rapidly because of a spate of controversies triggered mostly by Yadav. Yadav, who led a dozen college-mates from IIT-Bombay to start Housing in 2012, has had public spats with venture fund Sequoia Capital and disparaged the intellectual worth of investors in his company. He resigned at the end of April, but was asked to stay on by the board which appointed a committee to oversee operations.
“The investors have been looking to exit for some time now -the startup has been making news for all reasons except the market it addresses,“ said a person familiar with the talks.
So far, Housing has raised around $140 million from four investors including SoftBank, Helion Venture Partners and Nexus Venture Partners.As reported by ET last week, Yadav agreed to step down as CEO, with an announcement expected on his departure during the next board meeting on July 1. The agenda of the meeting is to finalise talks with Quikr and come up with a restructured top management and head for Housing.com.
Rahul Yadav owns about 4.57% of Housing.com and at a valuation of about ` . 1,500 crore, his stake is worth ` . 68 crore. The company has over 2,000 employees.
Housing.com currently has an Esop pool of 4%, with the total number of outstanding Housing.com shares standing at 7.15 million. Helion Ventures and Falcon Edge own about 10% each, while SoftBank owns some 32% and Nexus Venture 19%.